Hotel chains of the global South: The internationalization of South African hotel brands

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The global hotel industry is at the heart of the tourism production system and dominated by chain affiliated hotels. Understanding the international spread of hotel chains is a critical issue in contemporary tourism scholarship. Although the internationalization of hotel chains based in the global North is extensively researched, limited work exists on hotel chains based in the global South. This paper addresses the internationalization and destination choice in Africa of South African based hotels as a contribution to this investigatory void. Research material is drawn from the triangulation of data from internet sources, corporate annual reports and the business press. The analysis reveals eight different South African chains expanded northwards and now operate a total of 72 hotel or hotel/resort operations across 16 different African countries. A useful conceptual base for unpacking the destination choice of South African hotel chains is the eclectic paradigm of internationalization which offers insights based upon the variables of ownership advantages, location-specific advantages and internalization/coordinating advantages. It is argued that South African hotel chains advancing into other African countries have distinct ownership advantages which give them a competitive advantage as compared to local hotel groups. The spatial spread of South African hotel chains is linked mainly to the growth of business tourism and improvements in the infrastructure, business environment and tourism product base across several African emerging tourism destinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Africa
  • Business tourism
  • Eclectic paradigm
  • Hotel chains
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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